At first glance, 47 Ronin appears to be one weird movie. It’s a mega expensive Christmas release starring only one white guy, has a shape-shifting witch, and a predetermined unhappy ending. It all sounds ballsy on paper, but those balls are rarely ever flashed onscreen in this all too safe wannabe blockbuster. That one white guy, Kai (Keanu Reeves), is an outcast in his own home. As the son of an English sailor and Japanese peasant, Kai is dismissed as a “half-breed.” He’s stronger, smarter, and faster than any of his master’s samurai, but they’ll never accept him as a true samurai. His master is murdered by Mizuki (Rinko Kikichu) the witch and Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano), but when Kai tries to warn the samurai’s leader, Kuranosuke Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), of the witch’s presence his claim is dismissed. When he realizes his mistake, Oishi asks Kai to join him and the rest of his team of “ronin” for revenge. They all go on a dangerous journey together that is structured like a videogame: go here, then there, and then over there to the boss level. The clunky set up, which is front-loaded with exposition, sets up a world and plan full of danger, a risk that is never truly capitalized on. Their journey mostly goes according to plan, with a few mishaps. Some of the men die, but none of them do we actually get to know.